Potimarron gnocchi

Potimarron,photo by Maria Fremlin
Potimarron is a very popular winter squash in France, its name is a contraction from potiron, plus marron, which means a chestnut flavoured squash. Indeed it has an excellent flavour and I just love it. It can be found locally in the UK, under the name of Onion Squash; Uchiki Kuri, a Japanese winter squash is very similar.

Quite possibly the purée of any other low water content winter squash or even pumpkin can also be used successfully to make these delicious gnocchi; all you need to make sure is to drain very well the cooked squash of your choice. Because I usually harvest lots of potimarrons in I tend to bake a whole one, cut up in slices, and then freeze the surplus. The skin is not tough, most times I don't even bother to remove it.


Serves 4, makes about two dozen


Oven 190º C, 375º F, gas mark 5

Bake the potatoes then peel and grate them, please don't blend potatoes or you will end up with the wrong texture. You may bake the squash at the same time, it will take less time than the potatoes, and then weigh out the amount required for the recipe. Peel and squeeze all the water out of the flesh as much as you possibly can. Purée or grate it. Add t o the grated potatoes together with the flour, the seasonings and the parsley, mix really well; finally add the beaten egg.

Put a large pot of water on the stove and bring to the boil.

On a floured work surface roll out walnut sized lumps and when the water is boiling poach them, perhaps in two batches. Wait for them to come up and then drain on a colander. Transfer them to a nice oven to table dish, drizzle with the olive oil. Scatter the grated cheese on the top and bake in the hot oven or under the grill until golden.

Remove from the oven or grill and drizzle with the pumpkin oil. Serve hot.

Maria Fremlin, 30 December 2002

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